Jim Burns Homeword Daily Devotional for Parenting and Christian Family

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HomeWord - July 8, 2009

Sweet Slumber or Fright Night? 
This devotional was written by Leslie Snyder

I will lie down and sleep in peace for you alone, O, Lord, keep me safe. —Psalm 4:8

Each night around the world, when children go to bed, the imaginary world of monsters, bogeymen, and things that go bump in the night come to life. In fact, this occurrence is so common that some years ago, a movie studio used a humorous flip-flop of this fear to produce a blockbuster hit, Monsters Inc., in which the monsters were afraid of children! In our home my children’s fears range from hearing unidentifiable sounds to thinking a gigantic octopus looms outside of the bedroom window. Most often a reassuring word, a prayer, and a spray of magic “monster-be-gone” will bring back a sense of peace and our house is filled with the sounds of sweet slumber.

Adults often laugh off the fears that seem so real to children. But, the fact is that many adults experience something very similar. After the lights go out and the sound of silence fills the air, we are forced to face the things that hide in the busyness of day. The grown-up monsters of deadlines, pressure at work, addictions, marital strife, abuse, declining health, employment status, financial difficulties, parenting, issues of self-worth and more are very much alive. Fear invades and sleep is not sweet.

The psalmist understood where to place these fears: right in the lap of a loving, protective God. Is this a promise that nothing bad will ever happen? No. It is trusting that God is with us even in the midst of our fears. The first part of Psalm 23: 4 reads, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me…” God did not deliver this person from the valley; He walked with him through it.

Tonight, when you are tempted to allow fear to overwhelm you, trust God instead. Speak your fears to Him. Name them out loud and allow Him to walk with you through the fear. Trust that His word is true, and enjoy the night as you sleep in His peace.


  1. What fears keep you up at night?
  2. As you identify your fears, turn them over to God and allow Him to carry them for you.

Psalm 23; Matthew 6:25-34; 10:26-33; 11:28–30

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